This is the song that never ends...: It all comes down to this. Part I

This is the song that never ends...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

It all comes down to this. Part I

I’ll start from the very beginning---this is more for myself than for storytelling, so those of you who just want the meat and potatoes of the race may want to skip ahead or just go look at something on Ebay.

I had to work late on Friday night and didn’t get home until after 8:00p. John was kind enough to get the laundry train moving and had most of my clothes (technical gear and otherwise) washed, dried and folded in neat, little piles-he’s good like that. I started packing and going over my checklist of what to bring, took a quick shower and spent the rest of the night (almost until 1:00a!) scanning the NYRRC website, selecting music for my mp3 player and just trying to shake off all of the nervous energy that I had.

Our flight was for 6:05a the next morning and since we live about 90 minutes from the airport-in another country, we thought it would be a good idea to leave the house around 3:45-4:00a---which meant getting up at around 3:00a (yeah, tell me about it.)

Saturday morning I woke up to: “Fuck! Carol, it’s four-o-clock! Shit---we gotta go!” We made the mad dash around the house to pick up any straggling remains of our packing…. ummm, my packing, and jumped in the car sans coffee. Needless to say, the ride to the airport was a bit…..tense. We were both a bit snippy and stressed because there was a very large possibility that we could miss the flight. And that would suck.

We got to the airport with time to spare, but soon realized that the terminal we thought we were departing from was deserted or closed down or something equally stupid and had to hoof-it for what felt like half a mile. And anyone else who’s had to fly out of Detroit Metro’s Smith Terminal----is it just me or do the American Airlines gates look like a really run-down trailer park? Anyway… our plane was a puddle-jumper and the look on John’s face was priceless. “That’s not our plane, is it?” He was practically turning green just looking at it. I popped a Dramamine for good luck…

The flight was unremarkable-smooth takeoff and landing and once we arrived in NY, it finally started to feel real. We hopped in a cab and made our way to the La Quinta hotel on Queens and 38th. Nice enough hotel-the staff are kinda strange. Very soup-nazi-esque. They wouldn’t allow an early check-in, but let us drop off our bags since we arrived so early. We then headed to the marathon expo at the Javits Center and I think I may have fallen in love with running all over again.

The expo was very well organized (note: bring your own bottled water-the vendors outside the expo in the kiosks try to get away with selling 16 oz bottles of water for $2.75 ROBBERY) and everyone was just so helpful and kind. When you first walk in, they usher you into a line to get registered and pick up your packet which includes your race number, chip and all the fun freebie stuff. It was all just so overwhelming for this first-time marathoner. When the gentlemen stamped my registration card and directed me to the proper booth, he looked me in the eyes, smiled and said, “Good luck!” This is where the welling-of-the-eyes started. I knew it would happen eventually, probably that night or something, but I had no idea I was gonna start losing it this early. Every time someone offered me a sample of something (note: the Powerade Endurance formula is absolutely horrendous-go for the Gatorade instead) and said any kind word to me, I just looked at them very seriously and thanked them profusely---what a newbie!

We wandered around the expo and accepted practically every, little freebie handed to us. John really wanted a lanyard that the Army was offering, but I didn’t feel like getting recruited… I bought a long-sleeve running top instead and signed up with the 5:00 pace team. They promised that anyone running with the pace group would finish no more that two minutes earlier than their scheduled time and there was some other guarantee about finishing a few seconds before the 5-hour mark, but I can’t remember exactly what they were.

After we were loaded down with about 5 bags worth of goodies, we made our way back to Grand Central station for some lunch. I had a slice of pizza and figured we should head back to the hotel room to wind down a bit. I also wanted to get my number pinned to my singlet and put my name on the cool ING fabric/human bumper sticker/thing that they handed out at the expo. Once we got back to the hotel room, we showered the frazzled morning away and decided that: 1. the night was still young, 2. we were in New York 3. I wanted to do a practice run of how to get to the morning busses to the start 4. I could really use a new purse.

We traipsed around Times Square, grabbed a couple Frappaccinos oozing with whipped cream and made our way to Central Park. The air just seemed to be filled with so much energy. The entrance to the Park was barricaded off and there were a bunch of runners. We sat for a bit and turned back for the hotel. I picked up a NY pretzel (c’mon, a girl’s gotta carb-up before the big race!) and also snagged a couple purses – bought in true New York style – off of a blanket on the sidewalk. I talked a mean deal, too.


  • At 12:47 AM , Blogger PartTimeMom said...

    OMG - How did I miss this post. LOL! For some reason I scrolled down and noticed that I had missed "Part I" Duh!

    BTW - do we get to see pictures of the purses? heheheh.


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